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What’s in a Brand?

Robin Chandler
August 15, 2019

What exactly is a brand?

Most people understand the basic concept of a brand. When you want to buy something, you probably use logos and names to compare products and identify which can best achieve what you’re looking for. But a brand isn’t just a label for the products or services that your company offers. Your brand establishes your company’s reputation with consumers. There’s a variety of factors that customers consider when purchasing a product or service, so it’s important that your brand lets them know exactly what makes you the best choice.

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You can develop a successful brand with these four essential elements, which we lovingly call “The Four Ps. 

  1. Promise 
  2. Personality 
  3. Positioning 
  4. Perception 

Brand Promise

A brand’s promise tells your prospects what they can expect to get from your products or services every time they make a purchase. It may seem simple, but ensuring customers receive what your brand promises helps build their trust and loyalty. Nearly half of customers will leave a brand for a competitor that is better at meeting their needs. If your company doesn’t give them what they’ve been promised, both new and loyal customers are likely to choose another company that can. According to a recent study from HubSpot, 81% of people trust what they hear from family members and friends more than what companies tell them. Delighting your new and loyal customers encourages them to remain customers and can even bring in more customers in the future.  

To deliver on your brand’s promise, ensure that what you’re communicating to your audience is a clear and accurate representation of the benefits they will actually receive. When creating or changing your brand, be straightforward with your company’s values and goals and stay true to them when creating new content.

Brand Personality

Defining your brand personality requires an understanding of your intended audience. Who is your ideal customer? Using your buyer personas as a guide, you can create a personality for your brand that speaks to your target audience 

Knowing who you’re marketing to can help you determine what kind of style and tone you should use to create content that accurately represents who you are as a company. Whether you want your content to be casual and friendly, formal and serious, or somewhere in between, your brand should reflect a style that would appeal to your buyer personas. 

Your brand’s personality can be incorporated into almost every aspect of your company, including your logo, business cards, website design, and even the way your employees dress. Your brand personality should also remain consistent across all communications with prospects and customers. This means that all of your content should share the same voice and style. 

Brand Positioning

Find ways to connect with your prospects and customers through your brand to motivate them to choose your products or services instead of your competition’s.  

You want to position your brand so that your mission, values, and goals reach the appropriate audience. Positioning your brand according to your buyer personas ensures that you’re connecting with the people who are more likely to purchase your company’s products or services.

Brand positioning also makes it easier for the customer to decide on your product or service by distinguishing your brand from others in the customer’s mind. When someone feels an emotional connection to a brand, they are more likely to remain loyal to that company. Research has found that customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, will spend nearly twice as much on products or services from that company, and will tend to recommend the company to others more frequently than average consumers. Creating this emotional connection is key to having a successful brand. 

Brand Perception

You likely have a variety of preferences for different products based on your experiences with them in the past. If you have a negative experience at a particular store, you may avoid that store and choose to go somewhere else for a better experience. If you buy a car that has a lot of mechanical problems, you will likely not purchase another car from that company in the future.  

If you’ve ever preferred one brand over another, you have an understanding of how a customer’s perception of a brand impacts their willingness to purchase your product or service in the future.

Put simply, your brand perception is how people feel about your product, service, or organization as a whole. A brand gives an opportunity to build trust with your customers. If a customer has a positive perception of your brand, they are more likely to purchase from you again in the future. However, just one negative experience could drastically change a customer’s perception of your brand. Studies have shown that a third of customers will consider other options after just one negative experience with a companyAdditionally, customers are more likely to tell others about negative experiences they have with a particular brand, which can deter future prospects. 

Understanding these four elements and how they impact the ways in which your customers feel about your company can help you make your brand successful. Thus, your brand’s perception is a crucial part of its success. 

Read the Essential Guide to B2B Marketing for Manufacturers

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